I’m so excited to continue our series on living simple with purpose. I’ve being living on purpose for quite some time now, but sharing this series with you has helped me think through why I do the things I do. I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas will be right around the corner. If we’re not careful, I think it would be easy to let life just slip by. As we’re walking through this series, I hope it encourages you to think for yourself and your family the “why” behind the things you do.
When my kids are all grown up, and they’re raising children of their own, I want their favorite memories to be the ones we made consistently with intentionality. And that can’t happen if we’re not being intentional now.
When I sat down to write this post, I asked the Holy Spirit how we live simply on purpose with our children. A basket of toys covered my living room rug like the usually do. I laughed because I looked up over my computer and was staring at trains with their tracks that had been meticulously created by two little people. There was a little stuffed lion sitting on top of my Hebrew and Greek Word Study Bible across the room, a few mermaids were perched perfectly on the edge of the TV dresser, and a toy car right in front of the cable box. Apparently before my husband left with the kids a little bit ago, the lion was having tea (on top of my study Bible).
Bored is not being boring.
My kids play all the time and I’ve never heard them say they were bored. Yeah, they watch TV sometimes, but honestly, they’d rather play. And I really love that. I love that they use their imaginations, create, and build together. My third grader needs time at home, not staring into a screen or being shuffled from this practice to that one. He needs time to unwind, to create, and to be at home. And my little kids, in my opinion, playing is the most important thing for their development right now. I want them to have time to do that. Selah has dance once a week and my foster son plays flag football. But that’s enough for us in this season.
I think a big part of living life with purpose is choosing the best way to spend your yes and even though opportunities are amazing, being intentional about your no’s.
Our children are adopted (newsflash). And another thing we do simply with purpose is the way we discipline. Our children have each experienced various levels of trauma and have special needs. We cannot parent our children as our friends with biological children do. It doesn’t work for them. And honestly, it isn’t best. We’ve learned a lot about connected parenting and we are very intentional in the way we correct them.
There is so much research about this in the adoption and trauma world. This in itself could be an entire blog post. But to keep it simple, short, and sweet, we correct our kids ALWAYS with connection in mind.
If you think about it, Papa God does the same thing to us as His children. He only corrects us so that our relationship can deepen. We do the same thing with our kids. We correct them without shaming them or pushing them away from us. Correction is simply saying “there’s a better way.”
Practically this looks like seeing the why behind the behavior. Why is he lashing out at me? Why is she laying in the floor in the middle of Target? Why is he refusing to do what I ask him to do? Most of the time, when we figure out the why behind the behavior, instead of behavior modification, we actually get straight to the matter of the heart.
Connected correction is all about shepherding hearts. I don’t care if my kids change their behavior, what I really want to shape, is their hearts. The primary role we have in our kids’ lives are to shepherd their hearts so they can grow up to be warriors in the Kingdom of God.
Another way we live simple with purpose is we care a lot about the words that come out of our mouths.
We watch our words.
The Bible says that the power of life and death are in our tongue (Proverbs 18:21). We either believe that or we don’t. We are VERY intentional about what we say and what our kids say. You’ll hear in our house often, “Speak life!” Or sometimes I’m on the phone and without thinking, will hear a little voice scream from the back seat of the car, “Mommy! You’re not speaking life! You’re speaking death!”
It’s important that our kids understand the gravity of their words. It’s important the WE understand the gravity of our words. We are choosing to create a culture in our home with our kids where words are important and they are used to speak life into every situation.
Make the mundane moments monumental.
We choose to believe that the moments that will be monumental for our kids probably won’t happen at church or on an important day at an important time. The monumental moments of my life happened in my grandma’s kitchen over orange juice and scrambled eggs. Monumental moments for my husband happened in the summertime at his babysitter’s house or sitting on the couch with his grandparents.
We are always looking for those moments. Some of the most powerful conversations we’ve had with our kids about Papa God and things of the Kingdom have happened in the car. Or right before bed. Or when we’ve been brushing their teeth.
I’m convinced those are the moments that shape us. Those are the moments that are etched into our hearts forever. The ones that could have been rushed through or mundane. But if we notice the mundane can be monumental, I think it makes us live with that expectation. That at any moment, there could be a moment that shapes my kids forever.
Just knowing that very thing makes us live simple, with purpose.
Don’t forget to hop on over to my friends’ blogs to see how they live simple with purpose too!
You can check out Amber’s blog here.
Lindsay, over at The White Buffalo Styling Co, here.
And sweet Eileen, at Eileen and Co, here.